14 Jul Àsgeir reveal his new single “Snowblind”
As one of Iceland’s most successful exports, singer-songwriter Ásgeir has spent the time between his record-breaking debut (now celebrating its 10 th anniversary) and today pushing the boundaries of his textured, thoughtful brand of folk-pop. On October 28 th he’llrelease his long anticipated fourth album ‘Time On My Hands’ via One Little Independent Records.
Alongside announcement Ásgeir has shared the glistening new single ‘Snowblind’, an icy electronic ballad that fuses crisp beats with elated, expressive intensity. Driving synths rise dramatically while drums crack through the layered production beneath them – and amidst it all, Ásgeir’s singular, pure voice weaves a narrative that recalls the sparse and dark roads of his Icelandic hometown.
‘Time On My Hands’ sees Ásgeir in a state of self-reflection and experimentation, having spent much of the last few years in his home and in the studio deeply engrossed in writing, recording, translating and producing. On this album he’s entered new realms of composition, sensitively layering acoustics with electronics and brass. As with some of his previous work, most notably 2017’s ‘Afterglow’ and 2020’s ‘Bury The Moon’, Ásgeir plays with euphoric and choral elements of electronic pop music while keeping a tight grasp on the introspective, vocal-lead style of the acoustica that made him famous.
It’s clear from the beginning that the collection is built around visuals of glacial scenery as Ásgeir soars above a frosty terrain of enchanting melodic soundscapes with cinematic lucidity. The rolling landscapes aesthetic of the record was inspired by Ásgeir's own relationship with music over the last two years, consuming mostly while he was running outdoors, or while on long drives. He says that “some of the albums or music that stand out from that time were Caribou’s album Suddenly, Caroline Polichek-Pang, Dijon, Altopalo, Big Thief, Michael Kiwanuka, Sault, Ethan Gruska, Blake Mills and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. This music probably
has something to do with how the record came out, combined with earlier influences.”
The extended time that Ásgeir had to work on the material gave him space to venture into different synth sounds, he tells us; “There’s a synth repair guy that works at the studio and there’s a lot of vintage synthesizers that come through there. We bought an old Memorymoog off him while recording the album and I used it on many of the songs. I wrote Vibrating Walls on a Korg PS-3100.
Korg Delta has always been one of my favourite synths and it was used on a few tracks. I use my voice as the bass sound in Golden Hour, I got the idea after listening to Rank and File by Moses Sumney”.
‘Time On My Hands’ was recorded in Studio Hljóðrit where Ásgeir has always recorded, working closely with producer Guðmundur Kristinn Jónsson, he also recorded some of it at home. Ásgeir plays the bulk of the instruments himself but also invited the likes of drummers Nils Törnqvist and Kristinn Snær Agnarson, and the brass trio Samúel Jón Samúelsson, Kjartan Hákonarson and Óskar Guðjónsson as well as Pétur Ben to add the occasional percussion or guitar.
The whole album asks us to allow ourselves to glide over borders, both the physical, the ones we put up ourselves, and those between reality and imagination. It’s about freedom, the desire for adventure, and taking flight to escape isolation, as well as appreciating the natural wonders that surround us every day.
Art credit: Bobby Breiðholt
Photo credit: Anna Maggý
Follow Ásgeir: Website - Facebook - Spotify - Instagram